Maryland Terps

Quick Links

R-E-L-A-X: The reality of Maryland's loss to Michigan

usatsi_9053811_141983962_lowres.jpg

R-E-L-A-X: The reality of Maryland's loss to Michigan

We knew that this was the type of team that could beat Maryland. Rider flirted with it. Georgetown flirted with it. Illinois State flirted with it. It was the reason Wisconsin was able to tie the game late before Melo Trimble’s heroics bailed his team out.

Stretch the floor and shoot well from the outside and you’ll have a chance to beat the Terrapins. Michigan is the most talented team to do that so far this season against Maryland and that combination of skill and executing a game plan earned John Beilein's team a 70-67 upset in Ann Arbor on Tuesday night.

The Wolverines shot 41 percent on 29 three-point attempts. That shakes out to 12 makes, the most converted three-point attempts versus an AP Top 5 team in the last 20 seasons, per ESPN.

Did an early lack of execution on the perimeter defensively hurt Maryland? Absolutely. Michigan’s ability to start 3-of-4 from deep, along with 12 first-half points (all on threes) from 6-foot-8 guard Duncan Robinson set the tone and got the crowd into it.

Michigan was able to endure a second-half drought because they came out of halftime still firing and pushing their lead to 13 with 16:38 to go. That was enough of a cushion to sustain them.

Yes, Maryland has things it needs to fix. It starts with perimeter defense. There should be serious questions about the bench beyond Diamond Stone. But take a look at the positives that Maryland now knows about itself.

MORE TERPS: BEILEIN COMPARES TRIMBLE FOR FORMER NBA LOTTO PICK

1) Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon can combine for 10 points on 4-of-17 shooting with 5 assists and seven turnovers and they still only lose a game by three points on the road to a Top 35 KenPom team. And they had a chance to tie it on the last possession.

2) Diamond Stone is still an unstoppable force inside and a card that Mark Turgeon can keep up his sleeve for when he needs it. Just as he did versus Penn State, Turgeon started Stone in the second half and he fueled the furious comeback, erasing a 13-point deficit to end up with a double-double of 22 points and 11 rebounds.

How much of a luxury must it be to have a five-star guy off your bench who can be thrown into the game whenever and completely change the momentum’s trajectory?

3) The reports of Jake Layman’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. Yes, Layman has endured criticism in the past for fading into the background offensively in big games. But he was the only thing keeping Maryland afloat in the first half today.

He was confident, strong on the glass, and active defensively. He finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds. At the very least, Layman has progressed to the point where at the very least he earns a spot on the floor because his defense is a cornerstone for the team and he will attack the boards.

Some nights, you get this offensive alpha dog, too.

So look at it this way.

A number of things went wrong for Maryland on Tuesday night, some the result of playing a subpar game and some the result of the basic ebbs and flows of basketball.

Maryland falls to 15-2 over the past two seasons in games decided by six points or less.

Fifteen. And. Two.

And that comes in the second half of as close to a true road back-to-back as you’ll get in college basketball, only days after beating Wisconsin in Madison. The Terrapins were again on the road in Ann Arbor. They ran into a hot-shooting team and a wild crowd and they took a loss.

No. 1 Kansas lost on the road Tuesday night, too. North Carolina lost earlier in the year to Texas in Austin. It happens and Maryland will be just fine.

R-E-L-A-X.

Quick Links

Maryland loses two as Justin Jackson declares for NBA Draft, will sign with agent

usatsi_9707882.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Maryland loses two as Justin Jackson declares for NBA Draft, will sign with agent

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Maryland forward Justin Jackson will forgo his final two seasons of college eligibility to seek a career in the NBA.

Terrapins coach Mark Turgeon also says guard Dion Wiley will transfer before playing his senior season.

MORE TERPS: LEFTY DRIESELL IS FINALLY GOING TO ENTER THE HALL OF FAME

Jackson averaged 10.5 points as a freshman before missing most of the 2017-18 season with a shoulder injury.

Jackson says, "After talking with my family and weighing my options, it's my desire to turn my full attention to preparing for a career in professional basketball."

Wiley appeared in 83 career games, playing a backup role on three teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament under Turgeon.

Maryland was 19-13 this season, including 8-10 in the Big Ten, and failed to reach the postseason.

Quick Links

Lefty Driesell to be inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame per report

lefty_driesell_usat.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Lefty Driesell to be inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame per report

Long-time University of Maryland men’s basketball coach Charles Grice “Lefty” Driesell will finally be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame this year.

This is according to NBC Sports Washington contributor Jon Feinstein.

Driesell coached the Terrapins for 17 seasons between 1969-86. While guiding the program to eight NCAA Tournament appearances and an NIT Championship, Driesell transformed Maryland into a legitimate force in college basketball.

When hired by the Terps, Driesell famously announced that he wanted to turn Maryland into the “UCLA of the East.” After only four seasons he had made it to two ACC Championship Games and his first Elite Eight appearance. His success opened the door not only for the program but the school to compete at the highest levels of competition.

MORE NCAA: BEST BUZZER BEATERS IN NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY

Maryland made it as high as the Elite Eight twice under the reign of Driesell. He was named ACC Coach of the Year twice and won one ACC Tournament Championship in 1984. At the time of his NIT Championship with the Terps in 1972, the NIT was held in a similar regard to the NCAA Tournament.

He is second on Maryland’s all-time wins list (348), behind Gary Williams’ 461. Driesell however, still holds the best win percentage of all Maryland coaches with 68.6 win percentage.

After Maryland, the former Duke basketball coached at James Madison for just short of a decade and ended his coaching days at Georgia State. Driesell also coached at Davidson before taking the Maryland job to combine for over 40 seasons at the head of a Division I basketball program.

The 86-year-old was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame back in 2007. He also the namesake for the NCAA’s best defensive player of the year award, which was first awarded in 2010.

The official announcement from the Naismith Hall of Fame will be during the Final Four on Saturday, March 31.

WANT MORE HOOPS?  Listen below as Troy Machir and Chick Hernandez discuss Lefty Driesell's legacy in the area and why the Terps icon was on the outside of the Hall of Fame for so long.